Crypto

BNP Paribas takes another step towards public blockchains – L’AGEFI

When CoinDesk revealed the information hours before the official announcements, part of the crypto ecosystem dreamed of the first launch by a major French bank of a crypto asset custody service for its customers. It is understood that in this way it will be possible to store bitcoin or ether.

Finally, BNP Paribas will indicate in its press release about its partnership with Metaco and Fireblocks that the holding will only concern “regulated assets”, namely bonds and tokenized stocks for professionals. “Today we work only with regulated assets, for which there is a clear legal basis for work. The role of the holder (custodian) is both to preserve the assets and to ensure that they are properly returned to their owners,” says Bruno Campenon, head of banking at L’Agefi. Brokers and corporate clients at BNP Paribas Securities. Services.

Regulatory unknowns

On July 7, the French bank partnered with EDF to conduct the first offering of a tokenized bond intended to finance a solar project. On May 24, it became the first European bank to join JPMorgan Onyx Digital Assets private blockchain and make a transaction there.

The tokenization of financial assets on the blockchain is being studied by many banks. This will potentially provide greater transparency for all parties, better traceability, and a significant reduction in transaction costs while optimizing them. “In addition to technical assistance in our asset custody activities, Metaco and Fireblocks will also allow us to technically advance in possible interoperability with other public blockchains,” explains Bruno Campenon.

Unlike private blockchains such as Onyx Digital Assets, public blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum are available to anyone who wants to use them and are therefore inherently much more decentralized. But first, there are still too many unknown regulators for banks like BNP Paribas: “Implementation of the pilot scheme in early 2023 will allow us to see the situation more clearly. The introduction of central bank digital currency (MNBC), especially wholesale, can also provide better circulation of liquidity through the blockchain,” predicts Bruno Campenon.

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